Health Information FAQ

What is a Health Information Organization (HIO)?
A Health Information Organization (HIO), is the overarching organization that makes a Health Information Network (HIN) that exchanges health information possible. Each HIO governs a specific geographic area and focuses on the importance of interoperability and the exchange of Electronic Health Records (EHRs).

Health Information Exchange (HIE)? What is that?
A key component of HIT is Health Information Exchange (HIE), which is the secure, digital transmission or “exchange” of patient health information between healthcare providers. HIE allows providers to manage patient care more efficiently and effectively, ultimately leading to better care for you, the patient.
That’s right. You + HIE = Improved Care.  Here’s how:
  • Digital. Allows you to have secure, online access to your personal health record.
  • Convenient. No matter your location, all healthcare providers managing your care (that are health exchange participants) have access to the same health information, stored in one electronic health record.
  • Timely. Provides your most current information, prescriptions and lab tests.
  • Efficient. Helps to eliminate duplicate tests and unnecessary procedures,  which streamlines your care.  
It’s simple. By securely sharing or “exchanging” patient health information, health providers have the opportunity to be on the same page regarding your health information and medical history. With the click of a button, they can access your health information, including a list of your medications, allergies and lab tests regardless of the time or location, 24/7. And, you have digital access to your health information too, so you can review it at any time and notify your provider of any updates or errors in your health information. 
Is my patient information secure?
Yes, protecting patient health information is our priority. Carolina eHealth Network participants obey all federal and state health privacy laws and follow strict rules to protect the safety and privacy of personal health information (PHI).
How do I access my health information?
You may access your patient information via a patient portal. The patient portal securely houses your health information including medications, appointments, test results, allergies and more. Frequently reviewing your health information and history is important – it helps ensure the information is correct and that you and your health providers are on the same page. 
Paper Health Records vs. Electronic Health Records: What’s the difference?
Paper Health Records [pa•per health re•cords]: paper copies of a patient’s medical history. Antiquated, out of date, passé; old.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) [e•lec•tron•ic health re•cords, E-H-Rs]: electronic version of a patient’s medical history. Digital, current; timely.
Paper records are a thing of the past and Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are becoming the norm and the preferred method of storing patient information. As you read above, EHRs are your paper patient health records, but digitalized. Your patient information is securely stored in an EHR, so your healthcare providers can access your health information electronically, and you can too.
Why should I participate?
Why not? Allowing health providers to share your patient information over a secure health exchange system not only benefits you, it benefits your doctors too. With the click of a button, healthcare providers can make efficient, more informed decisions regarding your care, regardless of your location. And in an emergency, it could play a vital role in your care. It’s a win-win. 

How do I know if my doctor is participating in the HIN?

To view a list of the current Carolina eHealth Network participants click here.